How do you pray an identity away?

Urbiztondo, La Union

As an individual living on a Catholic environment I was raised to believe in God and prayers. Have problems? Pray. Ask guidance and you will be heard. Those are the common practices that I was taught to by my parents.

We commonly hear the line ‘Pray the gay away’ especially when being gay seems to be an issue. The traditionalists often associate being gay as a sinful act of defying God’s creation. And I won’t discuss or elaborate furthermore about the topic on gays, I opted not to.

I used that phrase to emphasize how a person was made to believe that prayer can make things better. It always does but in different way.

Recently I had some problems regarding my life and how stressful it is. I wasn’t expecting this turmoil at all. It almost breaks me. It’s not the people; I wouldn’t let them break me. It’s the thing they ask me to be. The things they ask me to aspire and become.

I’m an introvert and making friends, extending my arms to reach new people is so hard. I don’t talk to a person unless he/she talked to me first. I’m not a conversationalist so making a small talk is like hiking Mt. Everest as my first hike ever. Deadly.

They always say how we should think outside the box, live outside of it.  But it’s hard to break the box you are into when that box sheltered and saved you so many times. It’s hard to blame the fault on the box who only tried to save and mold you. I just don’t have the heart to break it and find a bigger box.

Respect. That’s a virtue our parents and other people taught us to practice. A virtue that is being erased when people starts to have their own opinion, when they think their belief is greater than others, by the people who taught us what respect is.

Respect then becomes a closed-knit virtue. It’s no longer respect for everyone but respect to a person with authority and his/her views and opinion. It’s now respect for a one-sided view.

If only we respect each other’s characteristics and beliefs then no one will be bullied just because of their way of living their lives. No one will be feeling wrong about how they see things and how they live their lives.

Using the phrase ‘pray the gay away’ I want to tell you that being different is not a sin, it is a privilege. I do believe that gays shouldn’t be condemned but they should be given respect for having the courage to be themselves. It is hard and full of trial but it is a privilege.

You cannot pray the gay away, neither the introvert/extrovert in you. It is saddening how people think that a specific characteristic of a person is a flaw of that individual, a sin that needs to be ashamed of.

It’s funny how people use Him to justify people’s insensitivity towards other people. Praying the gay (or other characteristic that people think is negative) is invalid. You do not pray for it to go away. You pray that everything will soon be fine, that everything will be better. You pray and hope to God to give you enough courage and bravery to face people and their eccentric views in life.

You cannot make the introvert go, you just cope to every life’s experiences. You just need to be strong.

Do you have something you have to cope with? Write it down below.

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